Seven years on and still trendy

Seven years on and still trendy
The Association of British Insurers has published the 28th edition of Insurance Trends.
The quarterly publication examines several areas of the insurance sector. These include regulatory reform, the impact of the pension credit, liberalisation of insurance markets, general insurance research reports, and statistical tables.

Soft sell
Assuresoft, makers of the Assureweb trading platform that gives independent financial advisers comparisons of financial products, including investment trusts and mortgages, is moving into general insurance.
The general insurance services are expected to go live within weeks.

RSA death
A Royal & Sunalliance (RSA) employee has died on an Antarctic environmental trip organised by the company. Pip Gregory from Bristol, 26, was taken ill on the 2041 yacht taking nine RSA employees from Argentina to the Antarctic. Gregory's body has been flown to the Falkland Islands while the rest of the crew have flown to Chile for the journey back to their respective countries.

Get the engine running
Online insurance intermediary is putting its quote engine onto affinity sites to sell insurance. Initially it will offer motor, travel, pet and wedding cover on appropriate sites and it plans to add household insurance at the end of April. Dotcover has already teamed up with and to sell wedding insurance and said it was in talks with a further 150 sites.

New faces in RSA board
Royal & Sunalliance has made two appointments to its UK board. Rod Kitchen has been made claims and customer segmentation director. He will be responsible for claims as well as his existing responsibilities of middle market, small business, motability and direct. Brendan McManus joins the executive team as marketing and distribution manager.

Take over at Thatcham top
Automotive research body Thatcham has appointed Peter Roberts as its new chief executive. He takes over from Michael Smith who retires at the end of February. Roberts was previously international and business development manager with car parts company Partco before its take over by Unipart.

Frankona Re's head dies
MICHAEL Fisher, member of GE Frankona Re's European executive committee, has died aged 56. The head of the company's strategic reinsurance division had a heart attack on January 27. Before joining GE Frankona Re, Fisher was a vice-president of ERC and president of Bates Turner in America. Details of a memorial service in London are to be announced.

No dip Nacho
Trade body the National Association of Credit Hire Operators (Nacho) has doubled its membership in the past six months to nine, with the addition this week of three new members. Enterprize Rent-a-Car, ACH of Bristol and Kindertons have joined founder members including Auto Indemnity, Car Crash Line and Drive Assist. All comply with the ABI's code on credit hire.

Patients seek Dr Right
AcuMatch, which matches patients with the best specialist to treat their condition, has been launched in the UK by US company Best Doctors. People looking for treatment call a freephone number and are advised of the most suitable specialist from the company's database of 50,000 doctors. Non-members can join the service through insurance companies.

Call in at the Expo 2001
Call Centre Expo 2001 will be held on October 9 to 10 at the NEC in Birmingham. The telebusiness event will feature the European Call Centre of the Year Awards, free advice centres and solution trails and executive masterclasses. Details of the event can be found at

Opinion, please
The Association of British Insurers has issued draft guidelines for life and disability insurers on best
practice under the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995. Interested parties, including insurers, intermediaries, disability support groups and consumer groups are invited to comment on the draft guidelines.

AGF takes over WIA
France-based AGF Group has acquired the remaining 51% stake in aviation insurer Westminster Insurance Agencies (WIA) from Groupama-GAN. The acquisition means AGF now owns 100% of WIA including its well known UK insurer Westminster Aviation Insurance Group. WIA's management will remain in control of the group.

It's a winner
Dawn Barsley, a press officer with Royal & Sunalliance, received a multimedia AMD Duron700 PC after winning the Insurance Times online prize draw in December, run in association with, a manufacturer and supplier of computer equipment. To enter, readers had to complete a simple questionnaire about repair and replacement. Both Insurance Times and would like to thank everyone for taking part in the draw and wish you better luck next time.

New at Lloyd's
John Coldman and Bronek Masojada have been elected deputy chairmen of Lloyd's by the Council of Lloyd's from February 1.Coldman is chairman of Benfield Greig Group and Masojada is chief executive of Hiscox.

Guru updated
The Claimsguru website has been updated to include the the cost of obtaining copies of police reports on road traffic accidents from the various forces in the UK. Advice on other aspects of claims handling is also featured on the site. The site can be found at

In the bag
Entegria, the benefits consulting division of Hogg Robinson, has won a contract to provide services to the pension scheme trustees and to Carpets International, the UK's largest carpet manufacturer. Under the terms of the contract, which began on January 16, Entegria will provide actuarial, consultancy and investment services to the pension scheme.

Eclipse deal
Holt UK is to use a configuration of Sequel Business Solutions' Eclipse products to manage underwriting for Lloyd's syndicates and underwriting companies. Eclipse is a comprehensive, fully configurable, component-based solution developed on the Microsoft platform. Holt has been using Eclipse to support its Consortium underwriting operation since May 2000.